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Teen Sleep Toolkit

You’re a teenager?  Great, this is for you! (We already wrote something for adults).

Take a few minutes to look inside yourself and see what’s important to you. What defines you? Who do you aspire to be? Did you know sleep powers your mind, body, emotions, and health?  Sleep helps you to be ready and able to pursue and achieve many of your goals.  Seriously, have you ever tried to do anything that’s really important to you when you’re tired, even exhausted?  What are the great things you can do when you are your Best Slept Self®?

We know it’s hard to prioritize your sleep when there are a lot of distractions and interruptions out there from things you see, hear, buy, and use every day—whatever can get in the way of you getting enough of the quality sleep you need.  But think about what’s possible, and how you can be you, when you’re feeling great after a night of healthy sleep.

High-performance people—thinkers, doers, creatives, athletes, celebrities, everyday leaders, and influencers—they understand sleep is a power within us that energizes what we do and can even give us a boost or a competitive edge.

Healthy sleep is for everyone, including you. You’re worth getting the sleep you need for your happiness and well-being!

So, as you decide what you can do about your sleep health, consider this: scientific studies show most teens need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. This can be challenging as your natural body clock (circadian rhythm) keeps you alert late into the night and feeling sleepy well into the morning hours.  Oh, and if you’re like most teens, you still need to be ready to start school early and keep a demanding schedule! In fact, 7 out of 10 teens have to be present for school before 8:30am. Plus—and how many times have you heard this—being on screens late at night can further disrupt your body clock and can keep your mind and emotions going when you should be sleeping.  We’re pretty sure you know what we’re talking about: the rabbit hole of scrolls and chats and games and surfs and posts (sorry, not all of them friendly, btw—stay strong!) and…all that alerting and engaging content can make it difficult to fall asleep. Not to mention demands from school, sports, extracurricular activities, your family, and more. Perhaps it feels like the only time you have ‘free’ from all the demands of your day is at night, so you might have the urge to use that time on things beside sleep.

Well, you can get past these challenges with some basic tips to help you be a Best Slept® Teen:

Daytime Tips for Teens:

1. Light: Get sunlight or bright light as soon as possible in the morning after waking up to boost your alertness during the day and help get deeper sleep at night. Trust us, it’s a science thing.

2. Exercise: Exercise regularly for a deeper sleep. This can include participating in sports or other physical extracurricular activities. Even if you’re not the physical type, it’s good to get your blood flowing for even 30 minutes a day.

3. Mealtimes: Eating meals at consistent times day after day can help your sleep. It may be tough given your active schedule.  Whatever works for you for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, focus on being as consistent as you can. Actually, having a consistent schedule overall is great for sleep.

Nighttime Tips for Teens:

1. Avoid: Allow your mind and body to relax by avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon and evening. You may also want to avoid late-day or evening naps, because they can lessen your “drive” for sleep and make it harder to fall asleep when you want to at night. If you must, grab a short nap in the afternoon. It is also best to stay away from heavy meals and nicotine before bed.

2. Wind-down: Use a consistent routine that relaxes you to help get the sleep you need each night. You could try meditation, listening to soothing music, dimming the lights, or reading a book. Try to commit to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.  It’s doable with reminders and a regular routine.  And it’s important to avoid excessive sleep-ins on weekends so you don’t have a difficult adjustment on Mondays when you’re back in action.

3. Environment: Create an optimal sleep environment by making your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. And, put those electronic devices away. Sure, that might sound impossible, and you’re not alone in not wanting to stay connected. But using screens in bed can be stimulating and can also can turn your sleeping space into a cue to be awake rather than to sleep. Yes, it really happens, and it’s an unhealthy habit that’s hard to break.

What are three actions specific to you, that you can take for better sleep health?




Remember, you have the power to shape who you want to be, and healthy sleep is definitely part of that. Make choices that prioritize your health, allowing you to be your Best Slept Self. It’s worth it!